The engine delivers power in any gear and the acceleration is rapid and linear with no flat spot. The suspension keeps everything tidy and planted on the chosen line. Front suspension is through 43mm inverted forks with rebound damping and pre-load adjustment. The rear is a horizontal back link with a manual remote all round adjustability. The bike is totally composed with the Scorpion trail tyres adhering nicely on the damp surface. Usually I find myself in 3rd gear on the V Strom going past the entrance to Jimmy’s farm and into the bend leading to the straight down past the reservoir but the Versys is up in 4th and still driving firmly on line at 45ish. Entering the straight there’s a white Fiesta filling the mirrors (driver complete with baseball cap), only polite to roll on and get out of the way. Changing up to 5th I realise he’s still back up the hill and I’m running past the reservoir and looking up at the next bend, I guess he missed his gear change. The Versys provides an elevated view from comfortable seating with room to move about. When accelerating there’s the nicely moulded hump behind the rider to steady against as you lean the bike over and glide round the bends. Passenger comfort looks good with large grab rails and a luggage rack provided as standard. The brochure for the bike shows that hard luggage, heated grips and other accessories are available to order making this a well sorted touring bike. Not having a passenger to spare I can’t comment on how the Versys behaves two up. It looks as though the passenger will sit higher on the elevated rear section of the seat but not looking as though they sit on the shoulders of the person in front. Completing another 60 miles, the Versys was taken over rough tarmac and damp mud strewn roads. On the dual carriageways there was some minimal reaction to side winds but less so than experienced on the V Strom. The extra The SAM Observer January 2012
The January 2012 edition of "The SAM Observer"